I made this dress last summer in anticipation of our trip to Europe. I used McCall's 5388, a shirt pattern, and just added length (using view D without sleeves) straight down to make it into a shift-style dress. I usually wear it belted to give it some shape, but I wore it yesterday loose and it was so comfortable. Now that it fits better, I don't mind the looser look.
I made a different view of this shirt WAY back when I just started sewing. I'm still a relative newbie, but I think that was actually my first garment. It was a mess; it's a very wide style and I used a quilting cotton that was NOT a good fabric to use, so I think I wore it once or twice and then stuck it in my use-this-for-fabric pile (do you save old clothes for their fabric? I don't always, but depending on the item I do). When I made this version, I chose an Anna Maria Horner voile (Diamond Mind in pomegrante), which was a much better choice.
I still think there might be too much ease in this pattern, but like I said, it's comfortable. The main problem I had with both versions was that the armholes were just TOO TIGHT. I lengthened the straps on both of them, but not enough. Besides, the neckline was hitting at the right place; the problem was the the bottom of the armscye was too shallow. So the other night I unpicked the bias binding, chopped a good inch out of the deepest part (and kind of eyeballed rounding it up so I still had a round-ish armhole), and sewed lace hem tape around the new and improved edges. I didn't feel like finding my scraps of voile, figuring out if I had enough for new binding, and recutting it all. It worked out fine. And best of all, my dress now fits around the top. It doesn't pull and bunch up under my arms. It's a weird feeling to have such a loose garment feel so tight.
|OLD version - not the greatest pics but all I could find|
|NEW version, also not the greatest pic but at least you can see the dress|
I'm glad to be making progress! A bunch of my fabric just got shipped yesterday (from Fashion Fabrics Club, it took a full week to even leave their warehouse - here's hoping everything arrives correctly), and I have the fabric for my 80's tshirt, from Girl Charlee - which was very quick with the shipping and the fabric looks just like I thought it would:
It's super soft and a little sheer so I'll have to layer but I quite like it.